Okapi, or forest giraffe, a member of the giraffe family found in the
inaccessible rain forests of northeastern Zaire and western Uganda. The okapi lives a
secluded life and it was not discovered until 1900. It is considered rare, but too little
information exists about the okapi to classify it as threatened or endangered.
The short, stout body of the
okapi ranges from 5 to 5.5 ft high at the shoulders and 6.5 to 7 ft in length, with a tail
12 to 17 inches long that ends in a tuft. It weighs 460 to 550 lb. The male has two small,
skin-covered bony knobs on its forehead. The okapi has a long, flexible blue-black tongue
that it uses to rip leaves from branches. It has large, dark eyes and large, wide ears.
The short, soft hair is reddish brown to black with large, white stripes on the front legs
Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia 2000